The grand opening of BARN-tique looked like a success if you judge by the number of customers who showed up Saturday to shop for bargains among the used toys, furniture, clothing and housewares that are the store’s stock and trade.
BARN-tique, at 8402 Center Point Lane in the Center Point Business Park behind Georator Corp. off U.S. 28 in Manassas, is not your run-of-the-mill thrift shop, according to the customers who shopped there Saturday afternoon.
They said they liked the quality of the merchandise and the cleanliness of the store.
“I think it’s incredible,” said Junette Kirksey of Gainesville, who came in search of clothes and toys.
“They’re gently used,” Kirksey said of the toys — some of which looked unused.
“They’re nice for the grandchildren,” the Gainesville woman said.
Kirksey left the store that is run by the Benedictine Aid and Relief for Neighbors, or BARN, with a small stack of children’s books and a toy tea set for a great-grandchild.
BARN is a secular, non-denominational, non-profit organization run by the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia that offers transitional housing and services for homeless mothers and their children in Prince William County.
Profits from the thrift shop will go to BARN.
Karen Nottingham, BARN community development manager, said the organization had been collecting donations over the years and decided to put them to good use.
“We decided we needed to open up a thrift shop,” Nottingham said.
The store will be open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Nottingham said.
BARN will take donations for the thrift shop at the Benedictine Monastery at 9541 Linton Hall Road, Nottingham said.
People who wish to make donations should call (703) 369-1325, Ext. 10, to arrange a time to drop them off, Nottingham said.
“We’re always looking for more donations — furniture, housewares,” she said.
“Our focus is going to be on women’s professional clothing, because our program is for homeless women and children,” Nottingham said. “They need to get back out into the work force and we need to attire them.”
Karen Newton, who described herself as a young grandmother, signed up to do volunteer work with BARN after visiting the store.
“I think it’s a great place and I think it’s for a great cause,” said the Manassas woman who considers herself a thrift store afficionado.
“I’ve frequented all of the ones in the area. This is wonderful,” she said.
“The location’s great. The layout in here is great. It’s not overcrowded,” Newton said.
Lorraine Joye came with her grandson, 3-year-old Ryan Joye.
She came looking for a round oak table.
She didn’t find one, but Ryan walked out of the store with a battery-operated toy car.
Still she liked the store and the stuff on sale there.
“For young people starting out with kids this is fantastic,” she said.
BARN volunteers offered free hot dogs, sno-cones, chips and soda to visitors in the store’s parking lot during the grand opening.
Fran West of Nokesville said she hoped the store would be a success.
” I’m sure it will be,” the 77-year-old West said.